Title page for ETD etd-10262005-101023

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Adams, Candace Renee
URN etd-10262005-101023
Title Direct and indirect effects of school learning variables on black 10th graders' academic achievement
Degree PhD
Department Educational Research and Evaluation
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Singh, Kusum Committee Chair
Culver, Steven M. Committee Member
Hereford, Karl T. Committee Member
Morton, Cornel N. Committee Member
Robertshaw, Dianne W. Committee Member
  • achievement
  • socioeconomic status
Date of Defense 1995-07-12
Availability restricted

The purpose of this study was to estimate the direct and indirect effects of certain school learning variables on the academic achievement of Black 10th graders. Simultaneously looking at variables associated with student background characteristics (i.e., gender and socioeconomic status); the school (i.e., students' perceptions of the school environment, teachers, and teaching); family (i.e., parental expectations and involvement>; and students (i.e., educational aspirations and motivation) a model of academic achievement was constructed.

Responses to questions from a large, nationally representative dataset (i.e., the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 or NELS:88) were employed to test the model. The 1,766 Black students participating in the study in both 1988 and 1990 formed the sample. Following a test of the overall model using a program of linear structural relations (LISREL), developed by Joreskog & Sorbom (1989), the magnitude of path coefficients were examined for significance.

Prior achievement produced an overwhelmingly large effect on later achievement. Socioeconomic status (SES) produced a large effect and students' perceptions of teachers produced a small although statistically significant effect on achievement. In addition, prior achievement, SES, and parental aspirations also influenced student aspirations. Student motivation was affected by prior levels of achievement, gender, and SESe Findings indicate that despite high educational aspirations of both Black children and their parents, these aspirations often affect neither student achievement as measured by scores on standardized tests nor student motivation.

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